LINCOLN'S SPRINGFIELD ^3 r£e/yc?£is toiry LINCOLN ROOM UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS LIBRARY MEMORIAL the Class of 1901 founded by HARLAN HOYT HORNER and HENRIETTA CALHOUN HORNER LINCOLN'S SPRINGFIELD by Harry E. Prj Illinois State Historical Society Springfield, Illinois 1955 Copyright By Illinois State Historical Society 1955 LINCOLN IN SPRINGFIELD ((Springfield is many times larger than it was in Lincoln's time, and the passing years have made great changes in its ap- pearance. Nevertheless, some of the buildings in which he lived and worked remain. To acquaint the visitor with these structures, and convey to him some- thing of the part they played in Lin- coln's life and work, is the purpose of this little book. ((When Lincoln came to Springfield in the spring of 1837 the town was anything but prepossessing. Small store buildings lined the square, in the center of which stood a two-story brick court house. Most of the twelve or thir- teen hundred inhabitants lived in small frame houses, with here and there an im- posing residence, and just as often the simple cabin of an early pioneer. Rem- nants of the groves in which the town was founded furnished shade, but other- wise the streets were bare of trees. In summer every passing team raised clouds of dust while in winter the mud seemed to have no bottom, for there was not a foot of pavement. Hogs, cows and chickens wandered at will, and disputed the few board walks and footpaths with pedes- trians. ((In the twenty-four years of Lin- coln's residence Springfield grew to a city of ten thousand inhabitants. The brick court house was soon replaced by the stone State House. In time two and three story brick buildings supplanted the smaller stores around the square and lined the adjacent streets. Fine homes ap- peared, and the log cabins vanished. Rail- roads came, and with them, many of the conveniences and graces of life. But crudi- ties remained, for except around the square the streets were still unpaved, hogs still wallowed in mud holes, and frogs croaked in undrained swamps. ((Such, in brief, was the environment in which Lincoln, by the twin paths of law and politics, attained national promi- nence. The successive steps in his pro- fessional life are found in summary form in the following pages; his political career deserves a few words here. ((At the time of his settlement in Springfield, Lincoln was serving his second term as a member of the Illinois House of Repre- sentatives. In 1838 and again in 1840 he was re-elected. ((After four terms in the General Assembly, Lincoln set elec- tion to the national House of Representa- tives as his goal. His chance came in 1846, and he was duly elected. His term in Congress, however, was a deep disap- pointment. Not only did he fail to win the distinction he hoped for, but by op- posing the Mexican War, he incurred the displeasure of most of his constituents. When, after Taylor's election in 1848, he was unable to secure appointment to an office which he wanted, he retired in dis- appointment and resolved to devote him- self to the law. ((This resolution he kept until 1854, when the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill thoroughly aroused him. From that time on he threw all his energies into the fight against what he considered to be the growing menace of slavery. By 1856, when the Republican Party was organized in Illinois, he was generally considered its leader; two years later all were agreed that he was the only possible opponent of Douglas. For three months the two rivals traveled over the state, speaking in every sizable town. Douglas won, but Lincoln did not lose, for a national reputation was the reward of his effort. ((This reputation served him well in I860, when the Republican Party gathered in national convention at Chicago. The most prominent leaders — Seward, Chase, Bates and McLean — were either too radical, or too conservative, or too old, or too long in public life, for strong factions of the party, and the prize fell to Lincoln. At the news cannon boomed, bonfires blazed, and Springfield went wild with joy — and not until Lin- coln spoke his words of farewell on Feb- ruary 11, 1861, did it relapse into its cus- tomary uneventful existence. ((The build- ings described in this little book reflect much of Lincoln's life in Springfield. Perhaps, through them, the visitor will be able to visualize the town of which they were once an integral part. And if he is fortunate, he may even get a glimpse of a gaunt man in a tall hat, an old gray shawl around his shoulders, walking slowly and with head bowed in thought —a man whom any one in Springfield could have identified as Abraham Lin- coln. 'gmm&mmzmmmmm THE LINCOLN HOME Northeast Corner of Eighth and Jackson Streets ((Lincoln, Mrs. Lincoln and their infant son, Robert, moved into this house in the spring of 1844, and this was their home until they left for Washington in 1861. Here three sons were born, Edward, Wil- liam and Thomas; and here Edward died. ((The house was built in 1839 by the Rev. Charles Dresser, the Episcopal rector who married Lincoln and Mary Todd three years later. Dresser sold the property to Lincoln on May 2, 1844, for $1500. The house was originally a story and a half in height, but in 1856 the full second story when completed, the building had cost $260,000. It was remodeled in 1901, by raising it a story, putting on a new roof and dome, and adding entrances at the east and west. ((The old building is re- plete with memories of Abraham Lincoln. Here the Twelfth General Assembly, of which he was a member, met in its last session in the winter of 1840-1841. Here in the Supreme Court Chambers he argued more than two hundred cases upon which he spent long hours in preparation. ((The old chamber of the House of Representa- tives was the scene of his political rebirth in October, 1854, when, in reply to Doug- las, he delivered one of the most profound speeches of his life. Here on June 16, 1858, he delivered his famous 'House Di- vided* speech. ((Following his election to the Presidency, the Governor's room was used by Mr. Lincoln for an office. Three months after he left for Washington his former antagonist, Stephen A. Doug- las, voiced his Union sentiments in a great speech in the hall of the House of Repre- sentatives. ((On May 3 and 4, 1865, the body of Lincoln lay here in state while a silent throng passed by for a final look at their fellow townsman. LINCOLN'S LAW OFFICES ((Lincoln moved from New Salem to Springfield in April, 1837, and immediate- ly began the practice of law with John T. Stuart. They occupied an office in the front room on the second floor in Hoff- man's Row, at 109 N. Fifth Street. The first floor was occupied by the Circuit Court of Sangamon County and the Stuart & Lincoln office was used as a jury room. ((In the spring of 1841 when the partner- ship with Stephen T. Logan was formed, the office of Logan & Lincoln was moved directly across the street. The firm later moved to the third floor of the Tinsley Building on the southwest corner of Sixth and Adams streets. On the second floor was located the United States Court room in which Lincoln practised. In 1855 the United States Courts removed to the new Logan Building at the northeast corner of the square. In the court room there, on the second floor, Lincoln tried some ninety cases. ((The office in the Tinsley Building was occupied by Mr. Lincoln after the dissolution of the firm of Logan & Lincoln, and here was formed the partnership with William H. Hern- don, which lasted until 1861. ((Late in the 'forties' Lincoln & Herndon gave up the Tinsley Building office. After short periods in several other locations, they moved to the second floor of a brick build- at 105 South Fifth Street. The office con- sisted of a medium sized room, in the cen- ter of which stood a long table with a shorter one at the end. In one corner was a desk containing the law papers of the firm; a book case against the wall held about two hundred law books and other volumes. The lounge, and a tall, un- blackened stove were the only other important articles of equipment. THE C M. SMITH STORE South side Public Square near Sixth Street ((Clark M. Smith, his brother Stephen, and William Yates opened a store at this location in 1852. It became one of the leading grocery and dry goods stores in Springfield. Mrs. Lincoln, whose young- est sister Ann Maria had married C. M. Smith, traded at the store. On its books appear entrys similar to these: "per Bob 10 lbs. Sugar $1.00," and "per Son 6 doz. Eggs .$.50." Mrs. Lincoln bought silk, silk lining, plaid silk, gaiter boots, and kid boots for herself. ((On one occasion, LIBRARY ■ ill r^H in March, 1859, Mr. Lincoln balanced his account by a payment of $407.72. Bal- ances this large were not unusual in a day of long credits, when accounts sometimes covered several years. ((In late January, 1861, Mr. Lincoln wished to begin his in- augural address. The crowds that came to see him at his office made work on the address there impossible. Mr. Smith offered the use of a back room on the third floor above his store. Accepting his offer, Lincoln asked his law partner, William H. Herndon, to bring him some books he would need. To Herndon 's great sur- prise, Lincoln asked for only four things. "He asked me," said Herndon, "to fur- nish him with Henry Clay's great speech delivered in 1850; Andrew Jackson's proc- lamation against Nullification; and a copy of the Constitution. He afterwards called for Webster's reply to Hayne, a speech which he read at New Salem, and which he always regarded as the grandest spec- imen of American oratory." ((The old merchant's desk with its sloping front and many pigeon holes upon which the first inaugural address was written is in the lobby of the Illinois State Historical Li- brary in the Centennial Building. THE GOVERNOR'S MANSION Jackson, Edwards, Fourth and Fifth Streets ((The Governor's Mansion is a three-story white house of twenty-eight rooms, built of superior brick masonry, and located on a beautiful knoll in the heart of Spring- field. ((The mansion has been the home of the Governors of the State of Illinois and a center of Springfield's social life since 1855- ((Before 1855, the Governors lived in a house at the northwest corner of Eighth Street and Capitol Avenue. The first appropriation of $15,000, to buy a site and erect an executive man- sion, was made by the legislature on February 12, 1853. Two years later a further appropriation of $16,000 was made to complete the home and beau- tify the grounds. In 1889 the front of the building was reconstructed, the interior redecorated and modern conveniences in- stalled. (^Lincoln watched the erection of the mansion and, in company with Mrs. Lincoln, attended several large par- ties there. One of these, held on Febru- ary 13, 1857, is described as a delightful and magnificent entertainment, Governor and Mrs. Bissell doing the honors of host and hostess with an ease and grace which attracted and pleased all who were pres- ent. ((There are recreation rooms on the ground floor. On the first floor are the reception rooms and the State Dining Room. The sun parlor, library and suites of bedrooms are on the second floor. In the State dining room hangs an interesting portrait of Edward D. Baker, prominent Whig friend of Lincoln and United States Senator from Oregon. Painted by Stephen W. Shaw, it was acquired by Mr. Lincoln, and in 1872 was presented to the State of Illinois by Mrs. Lincoln. FAREWELL ADDRESS Tenth and Monroe Streets ((The morning of Lincoln's departure, February 11, 1861, was dark and chill, and a drizzling rain was falling. Al- though Mrs. Lincoln and the boys were to depart later and join the special train en route, both Willie and Tad jumped into the hotel bus to escort their father to the depot. ((Arriving at the Great Western railway station, a short farewell reception took place in the waiting room. From this station, two weeks previously, Mr. Lincoln had taken a train to Charles- ton to visit his stepmother, a pleasant visit with a touching farewell. ((At eight o'clock Lincoln crossed the street to the spur track, entered the second of the two cars, and passed through to the rear platform. Removing his hat, and in a solemn voice and with eyes that were not free from tears, he said : ' 'My Friends : No one, not in my situation, can appre- ciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when or whether ever I may return, and with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of that Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance, I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will com- mend me, I bid you an affectionate fare- well." BENJAMIN S. EDWARDS HOME 801 North Fifth Street ((This house became one of the social cen- ters of Springfield in 1843, when it was acquired by Benjamin S. Edwards, son of the third Governor of Illinois, Ninian Edwards. For nearly three quarters of a century it continued to be known for its hospitality. ((The house was built about 1833. With its fourteen acres of trees, it had been the home of Dr. Thomas Hough- an. An account of a picnic given here in 1840 catches some of the beauty of the place: "They selected a most beautiful spot, where we assembled in the latter part of the afternoon. . . . 'Twas really a delightful scene. The branches of some of the tallest trees formed a canopy over our heads to screen us from the rays of a cloudless sun. A velvet lawn spread it- self beneath our feet." ((Here 'legislative parties', to which all the members of the legislature were invited, were held and attended by the society people of the little city. Elaborate suppers were served, in picnic style. ((The grove north of the house was used for many political meet- ings. Springfield's first large political gathering, the Young Men's Convention, June 2, 3, 4, 1840, was the occasion for an old-fashioned barbecue in the grove, which 15,000 enthusiastic Whigs attend- ed. Stephen A. Douglas addressed a throng in the grove on July 17, 1858, dur- ing his campaign for re-election to the United States Senate. ((In Mrs. Edwards' recollections of the funeral of President Lincoln she said: "Our house, being on the road to the cemetery, was thrown open, our rooms were all occupied, cots being put in the library and back room even, to accomodate friends who came from Kentucky and elsewhere." HENRY HORNER LINCOLN ROOM Illinois State Historical Library Centennial Building ((The Horner-Lincoln Room in the Histor- ical Library has one of the country's largest collections (6,000 items) of books and pamphlets on the life of Abraham Lincoln. All new publications are added, and the search goes on for items not on the Library shelves. ((Manuscripts in the Library written by Lincoln number approximately 1,100 (including over 300 legal documents) dating from 1831 to 1865. From his New Salem years (1831- 1837) there are election returns, land sur- veys, receipts, and his earliest extant letter (July 1, 1834 to George Spears). Lincoln's earliest known check, for $37 to "Self" on November 24, 1855, is matched in interest by his marriage license, the contract for the purchase of his home, his only extant letter to his stepmother, and a page of notes used in his debates with Douglas in 1858. ((His fifteen letters to Joshua F. Speed, intimate friend, include seven revealing letters by Lincoln on the subject of marriage. ((One of the five copies of the Gettysburg Address written by the President was purchased for $60,000 in 1944 for the Library by the schoolchildren of Illinois with the assistance of Marshall Field. ((The original record book of the Pigeon Creek Baptist Church, to which Lincoln's parents belonged in Indiana, and a copy of William Dean Howells' 1860 campaign biography of Lincoln with corrections in Lincoln's handwriting, are in the Library. ((There are letters and documents written by the President's father, his wife and sons, Robert, Willie and Tad. LINCOLN TOMB ((Immediately after the death of Lincoln the people of Springfield began to plan for an appropriate burial place and memorial. The site of the present State House was selected, but in deference to the wishes of Mrs. Lincoln, interment was made in Oak Ridge Cemetery on May 4, 1865. Under the auspices of the National Lincoln Mon- ument Association the collection of money began at once. Large contributions came from the Sunday School children of the country, and from the enlisted men, par- ticularly the colored troops. The State of Illinois appropriated $50,000. By 1868 sufficient funds for an adequate monu- ment were available. ((The leading artists of the country were invited to submit de- signs. That of Larkin G. Mead, Jr., of Brattleboro, Vermont, was chosen. Ground was broken in 1869, but the work progressed slowly, and the monument was not dedicated until 1874. ((In 1895 the monument was transferred by the Na- tional Lincoln Monument Association to the State of Illinois. Four years later it was rebuilt to remedy structural defects. ((In 1930 a second reconstruction was un- dertaken. On this occasion the exterior of the monument was unchanged, but the interior was completely rebuilt. Interior corridors were opened from the entrance to the tomb proper. Small replicas of famous Lincoln statues were placed in the corners. A new sarcophagus, surrounded by the president's flag and the flags of the seven states through which the Lincoln family passed in its westward migration was placed above the body of Lincoln. ((In addition to the body of Lincoln, the monument contains the bodies of Mrs. Lincoln and three of the four Lincoln chil- dren. ABRAHAM LINCOLN MEMORIAL GARDEN On the eastern shore of Lake Springfield ((A unique memorial is the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Garden, a sixty-acre tract along the eastern shore of Lake Springfield. Planted with the trees, shrubs and flowers native to the middle west in which Lincoln lived, it has cultural significance because of the con- centration here of the natural beauty of pioneer Illinois, and a spiritual appeal through its sheer beauty and the idea behind its development. ((The Garden Club of Illinois, a federation of com- munity garden clubs, planted the garden on land set aside for the club by the City of Springfield. The Garden was designed by Jens Jensen, famous internationally for his naturalistic landscape designs. The members of the Garden Club believed that Lincoln's love for nature was a con- tributing factor in his growth, and set about creating a living memory of that beauty. ((On the higher elevations are planted the forest trees, threaded through them and bordering them are the beauti- ful, small trees native to Illinois, the red- bud, the dogwood, the shad, the crab- apple and a host of others, and the native shrubs, so varied and so spectacular. In the open spaces are prairie flowers and along the water's edge are the plants of the open meadow. ([The plantings were started in 1936 and have continued as conditions were favorable. ((The Garden is maintained jointly by the City of Springfield and the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Garden Foundation. Already the plantings are taking on a look of permanence and the picture Jens Jensen had in mind is taking shape. The kind of landscape Lincoln knew when the Sangamon country was young has become a living reality. OTHER HISTORIC PLACES IN SPRINGFIELD This list of historic places is arranged, in order, for a tour from the Centennial Building on the Capitol Grounds to the center of the city. Bronze markers are to be found at nearly all sites. 1. ILLINOIS STATE HISTORICAL LIBRARY. Third floor of the Centennial Building. Large collection of books, pamphlets and newspaper files relating to the life of Lincoln. In the Lincoln Room are displayed paintings, miniatures, pho- tographs and engravings of Lincoln, and many articles that belonged to him. 2. SITE OF THE HOME OF NINIAN W. EDWARDS. Northwest corner of the Centennial Building. Here Abraham Lin- coln and Mary Todd were married Novem- ber 4, 1842; and here Mrs. Lincoln died July 16, 1882. The house was torn down to make room for the Centennial Build- ing. 3. STATUE OF ABRAHAM LIN- COLN. In front of State House, Capitol Avenue at Second Street. This statue by Andrew O'Connor, of Lincoln giving his Farewell Address, February 11, 1861, was erected in 1918. 4. SITE OF THE SECOND PRESBY- TERIAN CHURCH. Ill South Fourth Street. Here Lincoln served in the Elev- enth General Assembly, 1839-1840, and delivered his Address before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, January 27, 1838. 5. SITE OF THE GLOBE TAVERN. 315 East Adams Street. Here Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln made their home following their marriage, and here Robert T. Lincoln was born. 6. SITE OF THE FIRST PRESBY- TERIAN CHURCH. 302 East Washing- ton Street. Mrs. Lincoln joined this church April 13, 1852. The Lincoln pew is now in the present First Presbyterian Church at Seventh Street and Capitol Avenue. 7. SITE OF LAST LINCOLN AND HERNDON LAW OFFICE. 105 South Fifth Street. In 1860 and for several years prior to that date the firm had an office here. 8. SITE OF JOSHUA F. SPEED STORE. 103 South Fifth Street. Here Lincoln lived when he came to Spring- field in 1837. 9. SITE OF STUART & LINCOLN'S LAW OFFICE. 1837-1841. 109 North Fifth Street. Their office, in the front room on the second floor, was also used as a jury room by the Sangamon County Circuit Court, 1837-1840. 10. SITE OF THE ILLINOIS STATE JOURNAL BUILDING. 116-118 North Sixth Street. 'The Journal paper was always my friend; and, of course its edi- tors the same," wrote Lincoln in 1864. He sometimes wrote editorials for the Journal and from it he received support in all his campaigns. At the office of the paper on May 18, 1860, Lincoln received the news of his nomination for the presi- dency. The Illinois State HISTORICAL SOCIETY ((The Illinois State Historical Society was organized on May 19, 1899 at the Uni- versity of Illinois in Urbana. ((The Society was chartered by the State of Illinois on May 23, 1900, as a not-for- profit organization. ((An act approved May 6, 1903 officially connected the Society with the Illinois State Historical Library (established in 1889), and the Library trustees were authorized to use* Library funds to defray incidental ex- penses of the Society. Since that time the Society has been a quasi-public organi- zation, supported in part by members' dues and in part by state appropriations. ((The Society's purpose is to collect and preserve data relating to the history of Illinois, disseminate the story of the state and its citizens, and encourage historical research. ((The JOURNAL OF THE ILLINOIS STATE HISTORICAL SOCI- ETY is published by the Illinois State Historical Library for distribution to members of the Society, Dues are $3 a year, or $50 for Life Membership. Mem- bership is open to all. In addition to the Journal, which is published four times a year, members of the Society receive publications sponsored by the Society which are printed by authority of the State of Illinois. The latter include occasional books and pamphlets on Illi- nois history. ((The ILLINOIS JUNIOR HISTORIAN magazine, sponsored by the Society, is written and illustrated by schoolchildren. Published monthly from October through May, it has proved a handy tool for acquainting grade and junior high school students with the history of their own towns and of the state. ((The Society's annual meeting is held in October. In May the Society visits some historic area. Both the meeting and the tour are open to all members and to the public. ((The Society encourages the formation of local historical societies throughout the state. News of these societies' activities is printed in the state Society's Journal; associating membership agreements may be made between the local and state societies; and co-operation is extended in various other ways. The Society also erects five or more historical markers each year in co-operation with the Illinois Division of Highways. ((To pre- serve historical data in all possible com- pleteness many types of material are needed. These include books about Illi- nois or Illinoisans, family histories, state and municipal publications, reports of Illinois institutions of all kinds, manu- scripts, letters, diaries, newspapers, maga- zines, maps, prints and photographs. The Historical Library has large holdings of, and specializes in, Lincolniana and the Civil War period.